To find the Mirbeau Inn & Spa in the Finger Lakes region of Skaneateles you need only head west toward the sunset for a few hours to experience this lovely resort. Upon arrival I felt that I was literally walking into a Monet painting, with the ponds, the lilies pads floating over the Koi, the French Chateau-style buildings and the many weeping trees surround this magnificent property. The setting is nothing short of dazzling, but not over-stimulating; it is the perfect hideout from the winter blues.
Given the distinction of “Top 20 small U.S. Resorts” by Conde Nast Traveler, you can enjoy excellent food, wine and a most magnificent spa. The French Steakhouse and Wine Bar serves up creative cuisine and has itself received 4-Stars by Forbes Travel Guide. The homemade breads are out of this world and can be purchased to take home. They have a house-made charcuterie and very fresh oysters to whet your appetite and wonderfully aged beef (along with other options) to complete the 4-star meal.
The wine bar is unique for our region and is similar to a wine bar that you would find in France or Italy, with options for tasting full glasses, half glasses, as well as tastes. These options give you a chance to taste without sinking a chunk of money on a glass of wine that you may not like; although from what I tasted, that may be unlikely! You may be in the Finger Lakes region, but the wines range from New York State to French wines and Italian blockbusters. What fun it is to taste outstanding wines and leave without a headache.
The Spa also holds its own well-deserved distinction of “Top 5 Spas for Couples in the World by Spa Magazine”. A vast variety of treatments inspired by herbs and flowers, and even wine, can help you unwind and nourish your skin and body. I had a wine-inspired massage that I enjoyed very much, but the spa itself is truly the scene-stealer. The resting area is large and well appointed with a sunken heated foot pool; I felt I could melt away without even being touched.
Outside on a terrace is a hot plunge whirlpool nestled between rocks that is truly one of the prettiest settings for a whirlpool I have ever seen. The treatment rooms have fireplaces and heated floors for your comfort. They, of course, have saunas and steam rooms, but at Mirbeau, herbs infuse the steam rooms.
Exploring the Area
The Skaneateles area, located in the central part of our state, is a terrific setting in itself; the quaint town is set on a pristine lake and it is home to a thriving residential and business community and host to thousands of visitors and vacationers each year. It is a destination for many seeking to stay close to the Capital Region, as well as many from the entire country.
On a trip here a few years ago, I saw Bill and Hillary Clinton, and a few of the famed Baldwin brothers. In the historic downtown district, shops and galleries are housed in restored buildings dating back to 1796. You can browse for unique foods, fashions, original art, home accessories and antiques. The historic Sherwood Inn sits across from the lake and has a restaurant and tavern worth checking out.
This is a truly elegant little town that has much to offer during a winter getaway, or any time of year for that matter. A weekend at Mirbeau Inn & Spa could do much to inspire and relax as well as fortify for the winter ahead. For more information visit mirbeau.com.
–The Grateful Traveler